Anne Bradshaw was born in Caernarvon, Wales, and grew up in England. She has lived in the United States for thirteen years, and is the author of six published books, including Please, No Zits! (YA short stories); Famous Family Nights; DINGO (a teen YA mystery adventure); and True Miracles with Genealogy~Help from Beyond the Veil. Anne has also written countless articles in magazines and on the Internet, and co-authored an award-winning screenplay, and two non-fiction books on writing (Writing Secrets, and Publishing Secrets). Anne's blog is at http://annebradshaw.blogspot.com.
Family History Miracles
When Angela invited me to be her guest blogger this week, my first thought was, “What in the world should I write about?” I have more interests than time, and more want-to-tries than life years left. Then it hit me. Of course! Write about the out-of-this-world concept behind my new book, True Miracles with Genealogy~ Help from Beyond the Veil. It’s something I loved writing, and I’m sure will be relevant for as long as people seek after their ancestors.
True Miracles with Genealogy is a collection of inspirational stories. Most of the accounts in this book tell of connections from the other side of the veil that led to amazing discoveries. Others, however, declare how ancestors let descendants know they are still alive, that they care, and that they do not want to be forgotten or misrepresented.
I believe God has a hand in these miracles—that he wants us to unite with our families by seeking out our family trees. In the book of Malachi (4:6), it says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet . . . And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers."
This same Elijah the prophet appeared in the dispensation of the fullness of times in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836 to the Prophet Joseph Smith (Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16). He restored the keys of the sealing power of the priesthood to Joseph and began planting in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers. With that seed, the hearts of the children began to turn to their fathers. The need to belong to the Family Tree of Man became important and with turning hearts, descendants began looking for their ancestors.
The following year, in 1837, the Registrar General of Births, Marriages, and Deaths set up office in Somerset House, England. The office gave the public access to records in ways never before possible. To some, the timing might seem to be coincidental. Others see it as opening the door for the fulfillment of Elijah's prophecy. Help started flowing from both sides of the veil as people the world over began a passionate quest for their roots.
Copied below is one of the many stories from True Miracles with Genealogy. It is titled, Astounding Meeting, and was sent in by Robert Richardson—Sydney Temple Coordinator, Australia.
In 2008, while visiting family history sites in England, my wife and I went to Wigston, Leicestershire, where my great-great-grandmother Mary Hampson Walker lived. I wanted to go in the morning, but my wife had things to do, and we finally arrived in Wigston after three P.M.How amazing is that? And if you think that’s a good story, then wait until you read the others. Some ancestors have unusual ways of getting their information past the brick walls.
I guessed Mary was christened at St. Wistan's Church in Moat Street in June 1819. All the gravestones stood along a narrow pathway around the church. A couple of stones carried the name Langham, my great-grandmother's mother's maiden name, but there was little else of interest.
We noticed two men inside the church. When they broke up, one continued to look at church artifacts and the other came over to us. He was the church warden, so we asked if we could examine the records. That wasn't possible, so we took some photos and walked outside.
Then the other man came out, and as he passed us, he asked if we were doing family history. We answered, "Yes."
He then asked, "What families?"
I replied, "Walker."
He said, "Any others?"
He looked at us, astounded, then stated his name was Jonathon Langham and that he was also researching the Langham family. On realizing we were related, we shared information not previously available to either of us.
The meeting was more than a remarkable coincidence in view of the fact that I'd originally intended to visit the church in the morning and it was late in the afternoon before our paths crossed. In our later exchange of emails, Jonathon referred to our meeting as being "Quite spooky." Later, on meeting again outside the Langham family church in Kilby, Leicestershire, Jonathon indicated he lived only five miles or so from Wigston all his life, and that was the first time he ever went inside that church.
That day, two arms of the same family came together for the first time in almost two hundred years. Is there any doubt the spirit of Elijah is well and truly alive?
In connection with this book, I have created a new website (also called True Miracles with Genealogy) at www.truemiracleswithgenealogy.com, which I hope will become a collecting place for more stories as many readers remember their own unique research miracles and send them to me for posting. There are also many reviews of True Miracles under the tab at top of the web page.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Angela. I hope your readers share some of my excitement about genealogy. It can be a time-consuming hobby, but one that brings satisfaction with every discovery—especially when ancestors decide to help.
True Miracles with Genealogy ( ISBN-13: 978-1453767115 ~ ASIN: B0044XUVFI ) is available in many bookstores, and online at the following venues:
Paperback at Amazon's CreateSpace at https://www.createspace.com/3477323 for $8.99, shipping $3.61
Paperback from Amazon at http://amzn.to/9IenR5 for $8.99, shipping $3.99
eBook for Kindle at http://amzn.to/cqZX9P for $2.99 ~ eBook for Nook at http://bit.ly/91Uii4 for $2.99
European readers, please go to UK Amazon at http://amzn.to/aggUe4 for the paperback edition, and http://amzn.to/dz78gc for the Kindle edition.